By Andrew Davis
Tucker County will be looking to keep its perfect season in tact when they take to the field for second round Class A playoff action on Saturday.
The Mountain Lions, who sport an unblemished 11-0 mark, will entertain Clay-Battelle for a 1:30 p.m. contest at R.H. Armstrong Memorial Field.
"The kids are excited to still be playing," Tucker County coach A.J. Rapp said. "It's going to be nice to be playing someone that is not in our conference. If feels more like a real playoff game this week."
Tucker County, which is the No.1 seed in the playoffs and owns home-field advantage through the first three rounds, defeated conference rival Moorefield 27-14 last week.
"Moorefield gave us a tough game last week and that's exactly what we expected," Rapp said.
The Mountain Lions are led by senior quarterback Derek Nestor, who has thrown for 1,798 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. He has five interceptions and has rushed for an additional 787 yards this year.
"We need Derek to continue to do what he has done all season," Rapp said. "Our offensive line has to continue to block and do what they have done all year."
Nestor finished with 174 yards passing and 54 yards rushing in last week's win.
Running backs Zach Armstrong and Austin Zirk are other key players in the Mountain Lions' offensive attack.
Receivers Tyler Snyder and Nathaniel Goldstein are Nestor's top targets. Snyder had five catches for 162 yards in the Mountain Lions' win over Moorefield.
Snyder has 690 yards receiving this season, while Goldstein has 556 yards.
The Cee-Bees (10-1) defeated Valley-Fayette 33-28 in the first round last week.
Clay-Battelle is led by junior quarterback Tristan Haught and running back Shayne Hinkle.
"They have a good quarterback and some solid running backs," Rapp said. "They mix things up a lot on the offensive side of the ball and they run and throw the ball equally. We have to be ready for anything."
Middle linebacker Michael Adkins leads the Tucker County defense with over 100 tackles this season.
The Mountain Lions' defense has forced 27 takeaways this season, fueled by the secondary's 17 interceptions.
The winner will play either Madonna or St, Marys the following week.